Green Hills

Geospatial Technology & Data Science

About the Program

Now Offered Entirely Online

Complete your class labs with industry standard software ArcGIS Pro and QGIS using our virtual desktop server.

GIS is everywhere!

Have you ever wondered how Waze and Google Maps work? These apps (and countless others) use geospatial technology to display data. Geospatial technology is an information technology field of practice that acquires, manages, interprets, or otherwise uses data focusing on the geographic and spatial contexts.

Campus Wifi Coverage Map

Where to access wifi, seating and electirical outlets — created by students in the GIST program.

Equity and Inclusion 

Department Statement of Equity

The faculty in the department of Geography & Geospatial Technology promote a classroom environment of equity and inclusion. We are committed to teaching through an antiracist lens that empowers students to explore and analyze the underlying causes of racial injustice in our world and take action for equity and positive change. We are committed to providing our students a learning experience free of racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry while maintaining open lines of communication that provide a safe space for students to seek support.

The fields of Geography and Geospatial Technology provide data-driven evidence of racial and socioeconomic disparities through maps. These maps can be used as vehicles to drive change through shared information. Geography can be used to examine the cultural, historic and physical characteristics of divisions in our society and strives for equity through understanding and addressing the underlying causes of these divisions. Geospatial Technology is a suite of tools that empowers people to examine and share, via multimedia, patterns of inequity and advocate for change. 

The faculty and students of Geography and Geospatial Technology programs include diverse racial and ethnic identities, nationalities, immigration status, gender expressions, socio-economic backgrounds, religions, ages and health conditions. Our students come from various life experiences and have different needs.  The department faculty strive to include diverse voices and perspectives and provide every student with the resources, guidance and support that they need to ensure their success not only in the classroom but in the world beyond.

Geospatial Equity Resources

Quick Facts

  • Archaeologists, architects, engineers, police and fire fighters, marketing and business, surveyors, data scientist, biologists and earth scientists all use geospatial technology.
  • Increasingly, public works employees need some knowledge of geospatial technology for their work.
  • A certificate or degree in geospatial technology can boost your earning potential and increase employability. 
  • Foothill College offers evening and online classes to accommodate your schedule.

Why Study GIS at Foothill?

The Foothill College GIS Certificate Program takes a practical, hands-on approach to learning. Our program does not simply teach students how to use a specific software. Students in our program learn how to apply GIS to their discipline and gain experience in a variety of the leading GIS software products. 

There’s a need to get people retrained in what this technology means. This is something anyone from front line to management can easily be a part of.   

- Steve Rodriguez, IT Manager, City of Mountain View

Through the sequence of certificate courses, students will learn to plan and implement GIS projects. The Foothill College GIS Certificate Program curriculum is modeled after the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Center for Geographic Information Analysis (NCGIA) core curriculum in the geographic information sciences. 


California residents pay just $31 per unit for classes at Foothill College. This means that the entire 34 unit Certificate of Achievement in GIS will cost you just $1,054 in tuition. This is a fraction of the cost of other GIS programs offered at UC, CSU or private universities. Financial aid is available for qualified students.

Broad Exposure

The Foothill College GIS Program uses three different software products: ESRI's ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro 2.4, QGIS and more! No software purchase is required to particpate in our classes. You just need a computer with internet access and a web browser! Students access all software needed for class exercises and labs by logging into virtual machines through their web browser.

Degree & Program Types

Our program offers a set of certificates which scale up to an AS degree. The certificates build a solid technical background in geographic information systems concepts.

These certificates were modeled on the GeoTech Center's model curriculum with guidance from the Foothill College GIS program advisory board and are newly approved by the State Chancellor's office for California Community Colleges. 

All degrees and certificates can be taken completely online, or you can enroll in hybrid classes and come to campus for more hands-on instruction.

View the list below for geographic information systems programs offered at Foothill. Then select a program map for a possible schedule that fulfills program and college requirements.

For program requirements and full course listings, view degrees and certificates information.

Associate in Science Degree

Certificate of Achievement (CA)

Courses Sequence

All GIS classes are offered through the GIS department. Our certificate program is designed for working professionals.Most of our students have an associate's or higher degree and are 'upskilling.' However, we have also had numerous students enter our program straight out of high school and step directly into GIS technician jobs or land high paying student assistantships at four year universities when they transfer in pursuit of a bachelor's degree. View our course sequence guide to see which courses you would take depending on which quarter you enter the program.

What can you do with a degree in Geographic Information Systems?

  • Archaeologist 
  • Cartographer
  • City manager
  • Geographer
  • GIS technician 
  • Mapping Technician 
  • Surveyor 


K. Allison Lenkeit Meezan

Please contact me!

K. Allison Lenkeit Meezan, GIS Department Chair


Building 3000, Room 3020, Main Campus


Division Office Contacts

Aaron Korngiebel, Division Dean
Business & Social Sciences Division

Download 2017 CTE Licensure Pass & Placement Rates

Gainful Employment Disclosures

Related Degree Offerings